Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

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William Penn once said, “Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee.” If Othello, the protagonist of Othello had followed this cynical attitude many lives would have been saved. In Othello, William Shakespeare tells the tragic story of Othello who is led to his downfall because of his confidante’s deception. Shakespeare effectively utilizes symbolism, asides, imagery and characterization to demonstrate the effect of Iago’s lies in the ruination of Othello.
Shakespeare excellently uses symbolism in this drama. The first example is Desdemona’s handkerchief. It symbolizes the love between Othello and Desdemona. The handkerchief was Othello’s “first gift” (3.3) to Desdemona; therefore, it was precious to both of them. Othello tells Desdemona that her “napkin is too little” (3.3) after Iago questions the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona. By stating this Othello means that her love for him is inconsequential. This dialogue depicts Othello’s immense trust in Iago because he does not doubt Iago’s motives. Iago later claims that he saw “Cassio wipe his beard with [the handkerchief]” (3.3). Since the handkerchief is a symbol of Othello and Desdemona’s love for each other, Iago’s lie can be inferred to mean that Desdemona no longer loves Othello and that she had given it to Cassio because of her love for him. Iago’s plan to ruin Othello by making him jealous succeeds as Othello becomes engulfed in his desire to harm his wife and her supposed lover. Emilia finally reveals to him that Iago had “begged of [her] to steal it” (5.2) after Desdemona’s death. This convinces Othello that Desdemona was innocent. Shakespeare uses the song “Willow” as symbol of wrongful death. Desdemona sang it on the night she was killed by Othell...


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...ault is that he trusts people too easily. He shows confidence not only in his ability as a soldier but also about Desdemona’s love for him. He asserts that he does not have “the smallest fear or doubt for her revolt, for she had eyes, and chose [him]” (3.3). He is not a man who becomes jealous however the cunning Iago was able to create intense jealousy in him. Othello calls her a “lewd mind” (3.3) after believing Iago’s lies. Shakespeare characterizes Iago as opportunistic and cruel. Shakespeare conveys how opportunistic Iago is when he told Othello that Cassio was speaking of Desdemona lewdly when he was talking of a prostitute. Iago’s cruel side is revealed when he kills Roderigo and Emilia.
In conclusion, Shakespeare effectively expresses the effect of Iago’s plans on Othello. Through the use of many literary devices, Shakespeare shows the downfall of Othello

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